January 5, 2009

Tip Our Hats: Music Critics

If you ever want to feel completely unappreciated in your chosen line of work, become a music critic. For the most part, they are considered to be a low notch on the totem poll of writers. They're under Cosmo feature writers and barely above writers for in-flight magazines.

Sure, you'll have your superstar critic breakout every now and then like Lester Bangs, Rob Sheffield, Douglas Wolk, Jim DeRogatis, Chuck Klosterman, or your favorite Pitchfork scribe. But, on the whole, EVERYONE hates music critics. Except us!

As a former music critic, I can say with confidence that most bands rarely acknowledge the effort put into to crafting features about them. Editors rarely tell you, "Good job on that Man Man review. I loved the way you assessed the way the band has evolved since their last album." Yeah, that will never happen. And, the readers barely react to your work. It's almost like writing into a void.

But, we love 'em because they take their work seriously. It's charming. They will spend an inordinate amount of energy crafting the perfect album review within their word count limit. After dissecting the album's themes, they even tell you which songs are the best to download. Thanks, dudes!

Music reviewers are the unsung heroes of our world, along with the guy who cleans up after the bar closes and waiters who give you free refills of diet coke. So, we tip our hats to those that listen, write, and can't play: music critics.


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